Five anti-foie gras activists were unlawfully arrested in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire on July 27th 07 and held in police custody for almost six hours.
The five had been holding a peaceful demonstration that evening outside a restaurant in the town who sell foie gras.
Just over an hour into the protest five police cars and a police van arrived on the scene and promptly nicked all the demonstrators for breaching *Section 14 of the public order act. The only trouble was that a Section 14 notice had not previously been issued to the protestors by police that evening.
After taking rather a while to figure out that they had acted illegally because a Section 14 order had not in fact been issued prior to the arrests police released all five without charge.
Those concerned are now considering taking legal action against the police.
This isn’t the first time Gloucestershire police have unlawfully arrested animal rights campaigners. Click here to read about a previous blunder.
*Section 14 Public Order Act 1986 – Public Assemblies
A senior officer may impose conditions on public assemblies, which he considers are reasonably necessary to prevent serious public disorder etc. The conditions he may reasonably impose are:
a) the numbers of people who may take part,
b) the location of the assembly, and
c) its maximum duration.